Special Education

Ph.D. in Special Education at KU

The Ph.D. in Special Education at the University of Kansas is built on a mission to prepare civically-committed scholars who, through rigorous and relevant research and transformational interventions, address significant educational and social problems in ways that advance education, social policy, research, care giving and public service to enhance the quality of life of persons of all ages with (dis)abilities and their families. Program students and graduates rely on interdisciplinary theoretical knowledge and the full range of methodological approaches to engage, influence, and transform educational and social institutions and their practices to promote learning, equal opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency.

Benefits of the program include:

  • Program Reputation - KU’s Ph.D. in Special Education is offered through the Department of Special Education, which was recently ranked #1 according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Public Institutions. 
  • Funding Available – Doctoral students are nationally and internationally recruited and are fully-funded (to the maximum extent practicable) for the duration of their program. Learn more about available funding here
  • Stewardship - Program graduates are highly-competent, socially-committed educational researchers, leaders, and teacher educators engaged in the design, development, and/or use of educational and social interventions that result in transformational outcomes. 
  • Engagement The specific principles that define how students will be engaged in learning build upon the idea that doctoral education is a complex process of formation emphasizing development of scholars’ professional identity in all its dimensions, including their recognition of the role the discipline and its scholars are to play in academe and in society. 

Let us know you are interested.


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#1 public program in nation for special education
—U.S. News & World Report
Wayne Sailor directs KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, to develop a national center to assist schools
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
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